I’m sure you remember the scene well.  For those of you with small children, the vividness of the scenario may be due to the fact that it just happened this morning or sometime within the last few days.  Even for those of us whose children have long since reached adulthood, the passing of the years hasn’t diminished our clear recollection of such occasions.

Your child is running, then takes an unexpected tumble, and hits the ground with an audible thud.  Or they round a corner and bump their head on something hard, or sharp, or both.  I’m sure you recall the brief moment of silence that precedes the wail; the slight pause in which a breath is quickly drawn and their brain processes at microchip speed what has just happened.  And somehow, in an instant, in that thinnest of margins of time, with superhuman speed and reflexes you scoop them up, cradle them, stroke their face, and kiss their injured little noggin just before they unleash that soul-piercing scream.  It still amazes me how lungs that small can create a sound so disproportionately loud and strong!

As a parent, you immediately respond even before they cry out.  You move toward them before they even fully realize that they need you.  You answer before they ask.

Close friends and family members have the ability to anticipate your question or your need and respond before you even ask them.  They hand you a napkin, or a fork, or a pen, or your car keys, or a cup of coffee (that’s the best!).  They tell you where to find the thing that you’re looking for, even though you haven’t yet told them what you’ve misplaced.  It’s usually your phone!

How much more intimately does God know us?  How much more rapidly does our Almighty Father respond to the needs of his children, sometimes even before we know enough to ask?  Jesus assured us that our heavenly Father indeed knows what we need before we ask him (Matthew 5:8).  “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all,” (Psalm 139:4).

We always have God’s full attention.  We don’t have to shout to be heard.  We can whisper a prayer, and he listens.  We can breathe a prayer, sigh a prayer, or feel a prayer, and God hears.   He listens to our hearts.

So, God is already at work answering prayers that haven’t yet been prayed.  He’s working on solutions to problems about which we may still be unaware.  God has provided answers in His word to questions we haven’t even thought to ask yet.  Millennia ago, he preloaded Scripture with wisdom, counsel, guidance, and direction for issues, challenges, burdens, pains, and sorrows that we may just now be realizing and experiencing.  I know that you, like me, have had countless experiences of reading Scripture and having a text speak directly into the precise circumstances that you are in, or tap into the exact emotions that you are experiencing at that moment.  “It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it,” (Psalm 139:6 – The Voice).

“Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear,” (Isaiah 65:24).